White Milano launches trade show dedicated to sustainability
WSM Fashion Reboot spotlights brands, manufacturers and start-ups dedicated to sustainability and innovation.
By VOGUE BUSINESS on January 2, 2020
Just like brands themselves, industry trade shows are adapting to the rise of increasingly environmentally conscious customers. This month, international trade show White Milano will run an event during Milan men’s fashion week, focused exclusively on sustainable innovation, the first of its kind in the Italian fashion capital.
In collaboration with Camera Nazionale della Moda, CBI Camera Buyer Italia, the municipality of Milan and Confartigianato Imprese, Italy’s association for artisans and small businesses, WSM Fashion Reboot will take place on 11 and 12 January at BASE Milano. Curated by Matteo Ward, co-founder of sustainable label Wråd and artistic director of GIVE A FOK-us, the trade show’s sustainability hub, the show will feature textile manufacturers, designers, startups and services that are committed to sustainability and innovation.
“Thanks to a targeted scouting of brands whose main objective are circularity and sustainability, innovative collections dedicated to the new technologies in the textile industry and sustainable fashion will be premiered in Milan,” commented Italian Trade Agency President, Carlo Maria Ferro. The agency, Agencia ICE, alongside the Italian Ministry for Economic Development (MISE), offered their support for the event.
On the first floor of BASE Milano, luxury brand Salvatore Ferragamo will exhibit archive models from early collections that showcase the designer’s experimental use of natural materials like cork and raffia. On the trade floor, buyers will be able to view current collections by designers Vivienne Westwood, a longtime advocate of ethical production, and Bethany Williams, who received the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design in February 2019 for her sustainable approach to design.
Other designers showing are Tiziano Guardini, Flavia La Rocca, Bav Tailor, Silvia Giovanardi, Blue of a Kind, Yekaterina Yvankova, ACBC, Officina +39, Juan Carlos Gordillo and Laura Meijering with the label Unravelaufrom Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto, Helen Kirkum, Awareness Infinitum and Corrina Goutos from non-profit A New Awareness, and AYNI and Sophia Lerner, two Peruvian brands in Italy for the first time.
Finally, campaign group Fashion Revolution will run a workshop with Abitario knitwear, and designers Larissa Von Planta and Patrick McDowell. Also showing are textile manufacturers Canepa, Albini Group and Orange Fiber and startup 1Trueid, which builds anti-counterfeiting technology.
“Our goal is to turn WSM Fashion Reboot into a reference point for all those businesses, institutions and individuals that promote projects aimed at sustainability,” explains Massimiliano Bizzi, White Milano’s co-founder. Bizzi acknowledged that while much of the industry has come late to eco-conscious production, he is keen to showcase the many textile manufacturers and small labels that have always worked sustainably.
White Milano has also scheduled a series of talks and workshops alongside campaign group Fashion Revolution and cultural institution Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto. Discussions will examine the industry’s excessive water usage, the environmental impact of toxic chemicals in clothing, and how best to combat overproduction.